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Catching Up on the Last Few Weeks

I’ve been pretty bad at updating, as is my way.  So I’ll try to rectify that here, with some pictures and general “here’s how it’s been going” updates.  Long story short though, Larry has been doing pretty damn great during Rounds 2 & 3 of chemo.

A brief update on the chemo story:  For Rounds 1 & 2 of his chemo, we were doing a “doublet” chemo treatment called Folfox.  I’ve linked to a site that kind of explains it so I don’t have to get into the weeds.  This treatment approach is the typical standard one for colorectal cancers, and so that’s what our oncologist recommended.   The goal though was to see how Larry took to these and if the side effects were going to be too much. Because his port surgery was still within 4 weeks, we did not do the +Avastin though, as that is the drug that inhibits capillary growth, to stop both cancer cells from building out but also good stuff, so healing Larry’s surgery scars would have been impeded.  But we did Folfox for the first 2 rounds and while he definitely did experience neuropathy as expected, and of course fatigue and occasional nausea, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t manage.  And by the time each 2nd week came around, Larry felt pretty good.  So by the time it came time for Round 3, the onocologist (Dr Arzoo, who is an amazing man and doctor) let Larry decide if he wanted to increase the treatment potency.  There is a “triplet” chemo treatment that has been shown to be very effective too, Folfoxiri.  It’s more aggressive and comes with heightened side effects, namely much more diarrhea.  Dr Arzoo was supportive if we were wanting to go for this, and after some consideration, Larry was on board.  It definitely adds more time to the chemotherapy process on Monday, and the neuropathy seems to be heightened, but the dreaded constant diarrhea really didn’t manifest for Larry.  He’s been actually doing pretty good during this Round, which is certainly hopeful for us.  Really hoping that will remain the case as we go into Round 4 tomorrow.  All thoughts and good vibes are appreciated!

Here are some pictures from Round 2, on July 30, 2018

Why don’t I have pictures from Round 3 two weeks later?  Well, that’s because Fran came in to spend some time with her boy!  Only one visitor is allowed at a time, so I stayed home while she went in for the Round 3 super dose.  I had told her that it wasn’t such a long day, but Folfoxiri + Avastin does take a long time, so my bad!  I’ll get to be there for the long day tomorrow.  Anyway, before she accompanied Larry on that Monday, we picked her up on the Sunday before from LAX.  Taking advantage of the fact that we don’t typically spend much time on the West Side anymore, we planned an outing to the Century City mall – and went to Eataly for lunch!

Eataly @ Century City on Aug 12, 2018:

As far as other stuff that happened since, here are some pictures and stuff!

One of the things Larry & I saw at the Hollywood Bowl was a live performance of Annie – which was amazing.  Much like Mamma Mia last year, it’s basically putting on the Broadway show but keeping the sets from being too over the top.  In both of these cases, the sets actually were pretty flexible in that they took advantage of rotating sets to great effect.  In Annie, the letters themselves were able to be used as various locations by rotating them around to show they were hollow and had sets in them.  AWESOME. The cast of Annie, especially the lead and then the celebrity cast that filled in the other main starring roles, were all amazing.  Ana Gasteyer was great as Mrs. Hannigan as was David Alan Grier as Daddy Warbucks.  The girl who played Annie was fantastic.  I love the songs too, and they didn’t disappoint with numbers like “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, “Tomorrow”, and “Maybe” (and everything else, of course).

Annie @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 28, 2018

Early this month, Larry & I went back to the Glen to see how our house was coming along.  No drywall up (although we have heard that has started this week!) but we got to see that all the electrical and plumbing is in, as are all the windows, and a lot of the clutter on the floors was gone, so it was much easier to walk around and imagine the future.

The Glen LA, Aug 5, 2018

The day before Fran arrived in town, Larry, my mom, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl to go watch The Empire Strikes Back accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra.  It’s a phenomenal movie and has one of the more iconic soundtracks – obviously it’s the movie that first used the Imperial March, but it also has such great themes such as the love theme and the stupendous Asteroid theme.  It was a pleasure to hear it play out live.  Plus there were so many lightsabers in play it was a joy to see them all come out when certain actions or musical moments came on, notably when the Imperial March played.

The Empire Strikes Back @ the Hollywood Bowl, Aug 11, 2018

I have been working basically from home while Larry is going through this.  With the stuff I’ve been working on lately, that’s been an option.  I do go in occasionally though just to make sure people see me or when others let me know they’ll be in.  In this case, my ex-work wife Barb let me know she was going to be downtown one day AND she wanted to take me to lunch!  How could I refuse that offer?  Fran took Larry duty (I kid, honestly – he doesn’t need such attention) and I went in and met her at her new office neighborhood and she then surprised me by saying we were going to 71 Above, the restaurant which resides at the top of the US Bank building.  It was spectacular, and since we got there around 11:45am, we beat the rush and got window seats.  It’s kind of nuts.  The food was fantastic, and I definitely appreciated her generosity!

Lunch w/ Barb @ 71 Above, Aug 16, 2018

It’s been a blur though, to be honest.  I can’t believe we’re on to Round 4 tomorrow, and that Fran has come and gone already.   There was fun to be had, as we did go and see Crazy Rich Asians which was awesome (go see it), we’d go for walks to keep Larry active, made dinners at home, Fran and I drank wine, she’d watch a lot of her British Netflix shows, and overall it was just an easy time, thankfully.

So here’s hoping the good vibes continue.  We’d love to learn that the chemo is doing its job, but we won’t know how well it’s working for a little bit longer.  Dr Arzoo has mentioned we’ll test levels after Round 6.  In the meantime, positivity and confidence it’s all working out are the order for the day.

In random news, I’m in love with this mop I saw at Bed Bath & Beyond:

My absolute joy

I got it and I used it yesterday at home and never again will I use those stupid Swiffer Wet Jet things.  Such a waste of paper and resources those things are.  This mop has a built-in spinner function to help you both wash the mop head and then a salad-spinner thing that helps you rinse off excess water before using it.   I’m sad to report that our floors were filthy, but damn if they’re not clean now!

2 Years and Still Going Strong

Technically, our anniversary is Monday, but who wants to go out and celebrate on a Monday night?  Not these two 40-ish queens.  So we celebrated last night by going out to a restaurant neither of us had gone to before called The Little Door.   I found it online when searching for cool anniversary places and this ended up being a HIT.  It’s a French restaurant on 3rd a little bit west of the Grove, and it’s amazing.   I wouldn’t call it cheap though, so certainly a place you go to when you want to have a nice dinner at a corresponding price.

Everyone was super friendly – our waiter was French and couldn’t have been more accommodating or helpful.  We got a bottle of Pinot Noir that was delicious as all get out, and then started with an appetizer of duck foie gras and creme brulee.  Possibly a strange combo but man, those two really do go together.   I ordered a filet mignon that was delectable while Larry got lamb chops that he loved.  For dessert, I had a chocolate pot du creme (pudding, I guess?) and Larry had coconut cheesecake – we were both very satisfied.

So if you need a great French restaurant while in LA, I highly recommend The Little Door.

And if you find yourself married, I hope you’re lucky like I am and are married to someone like Larry.   Next month will be the 10-year anniversary of when we first met.   Crazy how time flies but the life we’ve lived and adventures we’ve had just keep on coming.  This year is no different and by the end of it (fingers crossed), we’ll be in our new home!

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – The Little Door

PwC View from Spire 73

Today, Monday, was a hell of a Monday.  Meetings starting at 8:30am in DTLA, traveling to Gardena for meetings, then back to DTLA, over to Koreatown for a block of more meetings, then back to DTLA for some fun at Spire 73 atop the Grand Wilshire Intercontinental (or whatever it’s called).  It was kinda crazy.  But I did enjoy the view up top and this time, I got to see the view as it overlooked the PwC building.  Pretty pretty cool.

After this, I walked over to the Ace Hotel and met up with Doug and Sloan, with Doug being one of Larry’s college friends and coworkers.  They’re out in town for work and we were able to meet up for dinner tonight with them and their adorable toddler son, Silas.   Ended up going to Perch and having a great time – very fun to catch up and also get to go to Perch as I’d been wanting to go there for a long time.  Got a pretty cool set of couches to sit on.  Fun times!

Fran & Joel Back Out + Other Stuff

I’m just wanting to get a post out with some assorted pictures and neat stuff I’d noticed before the weekend begins in earnest, as I’m sure it’ll be fun to recount the stuff from Fran & Joel’s visit out.  But first, we had dinner with them last night:

They flew in from Phoenix yesterday after attending the same conference they went to last year, which was when we met up with them in Vegas.  It was nice to take them to one of the many neat restaurants here in Glendale, this time Bacari.

On Monday, Larry & I went out on a school night to see a show at the Largo – this was where we had previously seen “How Did This Get Made?” last year; this time the show was “Hanging with Paul Scheer” and it was hilarious and the guests were Nicole Byer – who is hilarious and who I first fell in love with from her appearance on “Gay of Thrones” below:

Bye, Bitch!!!!   ALSO, Maria Bamford and Fred Armisen were guests, so yeah, it was hilarious.  I ended up taking the bus from DTLA as I was downtown that day, and while waiting, I took some downtown pics:

The previous weekend, we finally got to hang with Rekha and belatedly celebrate birthday fun with her.  Nicki chose a cool place, Cafe Stella, down in Silver Lake on the Sunset section.  Very trendy bar and restaurant with many attractive people everywhere.  Ah, hip Los Angeles.  Larry & I bailed after the restaurant but we heard the fun certainly continued through the rest of the day/night!

And then the weekend before that, I dragged Larry to go out and see The Last Jedi ONE MORE TIME.  It was my fourth time, his third.   We went to the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood and while it was an experience, the presentation of the movie at Universal was way better.  But there was a fun organist playing tunes before the show and a cheesy laser show too!  And a cool costume display from the movie that we visited.  Anyway, the movie still rocks and I can’t wait to see it again…on Blu Ray.

We also did go and see Phantom Thread this past weekend…I’ll give the movie that it was beautiful and well-directed, but this was a movie that I was okay with until the last 10 minutes, and then I was done with it.  What a waste of time.  I hope it loses in every Oscar category it was nominated in.

In totally unrelated stuff, Rebels Season 4 comes back soon, and if you love Star Wars, this animated series is a must watch.  The final half of the last season is airing and by the looks of this preview, a whole lot of stuff is gonna happen – and the Emperor makes an appearance!!!!:

I also saw this in one of my favorite sites – These timelapses of Seattle are pretty mesmerizing especially to see how quickly the city is building up:

 

And that leaves us to where we are now.  I’ve failed on my Amazing Race updates, but I’m still watching as it’s amazing.  And the cast of Celebrity Big Brother was announced…and it’s gonna be hard for me to choose to watch with Omarosa on it.  Seriously, wtf.

Finally, the Roadhouse, to complete my 2017 Year of Twin Peaks

2017 may have been a shitshow for a whole slew of reasons, but one giant reason in its favor is that it was so full of Twin Peaks goodness.   Not only did the revival on Showtime kick serious ass, we got 18 hours of it and it still managed to confound and excite us.  I really should have known that with it being Twin Peaks, it wouldn’t end neatly.   Then obviously I posted about it back in September, which was when Larry & I went to Seattle & Vancouver for a week and tagged one of the days as a Twin Peaks day:

Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

I said it enough in the post, but that day was seriously one of the best days ever.  I got to see nearly every Seattle-adjacent filming location that I would have wanted to have seen….except for the actual exterior location of “the Roadhouse.”  It was located in the opposite direction of where we were heading, so it had to be dropped and I figured maybe one day, we’d go back?  Well, may not need to as the Roadhouse came to Los Angeles!

Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ The Roadhouse in Los Angeles

This pop-up was incredible.  You enter and then walk through several corridors of Black Lodge goodness, passing into an outdoor area with some sycamore trees, the entrance to the Black Lodge, and Owl Cave scribblings.  Then you head into the restaurant area where you are now in the Roadhouse.   Great food and some solid, interesting drink offerings, all themed to Twin Peaks characters or motifs.   I ended up getting a fantastic Great Northern Steak & Frites while Larry got Betty Briggs Meatloaf Burger, and then I had a Laura Palmer drink followed by a surprising hot cup beverage called Cherry Pie That’ll Kill Ya.  All followed with Cherry Pie and Donuts.  Yeah, we might have eaten a lot.

At the end of our 90 minutes or so, we left and I bought two Twin Peaks t-shirts, and then we called it a day.  This excursion also served as our ‘going out for New Year’s’ event as basically there were so many unpleasant outings for a few years it is just not fun anymore.  But staying home?  Hella fun.  We ended up watching movies yesterday, starting with Diamonds Are Forever, then renting Despicable Me 3 from ITunes (it was okay – I think I liked the previous 2 more although I did like the 80s-themed villain), and following it up with Spy, which still is just so damn funny.    Larry made a wonderful chicken parmesan dinner and then we watched the Kathy-less CNN NYE for a little and drank a bottle of champagne.  And here we are now in 2018.  Let’s make it a good year – lots of exciting things coming up, notably buying and moving into a brand new house!!!

New Year’s Eve at Home, 2017 version: